Jeremiah Paul Ostriker - Студенческий научный форум

XII Международная студенческая научная конференция Студенческий научный форум - 2020

Jeremiah Paul Ostriker

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1ФГБОУ ВО «Владимирский государственный университет имени А. Г. и Н. Г. Столетовых»
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Jeremiah P. Ostriker (born April 13, 1937) has been an influential researcher in one of the most exciting areas of modern science, theoretical astrophysics, with current primary work in the area of cosmology, particularly the aspects that can be approached best by large scale numerical calculations. Ostriker has investigated many areas of research, including the structure and oscillations of rotating stars, the stability of galaxies, the evolution of globular clusters and other star systems, pulsars, X-ray binary stars, the dynamics of clusters of galaxies, gravitational lensing, astrophysical blast waves, active galactic nuclei, the cosmic web, and galaxy formation.

Most significantly, Ostriker's research focused on the theories of:

Dark Matter and Dark Energy

The Warm-Hot Intergalactic Medium (WHIM)

Galaxy Formation and black hole growth

Interaction between Quasars and their surroundings

Ostriker has supervised and collaborated with many young researchers and graduate students. He is the author or co-author of more than 500 scientific publications.


He received his B.A. from Harvard, and his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago.


After earning his Ph.D. at Chicago he conducted post-doctoral work at the University of Cambridge. From 1971 to 1995, Ostriker was a professor at Princeton, and served as Provost there from 1995 to 2001. From 2001 to 2003, he was appointed as Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge. He then returned to Princeton as the Charles Young Professor of Astronomy and is now the Charles A. Young Professor Emeritus. He continues as a Senior Research Scholar at Princeton and became a Professor of Astronomy at Columbia in 2012.


Before the early 1970's most astronomers shared an unstated assumption that almost all of the mass in galaxies resided in visible stars. Ostriker was important in convincing the astronomical community that this natural and seductive assumption is wrong, by advocating a radical new model for galaxies in which the system of visible stars is only a minor component at the center of a much larger halo of dark matter of unknown composition. This thirty-fold expansion of the scale and mass of galaxies was the grandest revision in our understanding of galaxies since Shapley's work at Harvard in the early 1900's, and, after considerable initial skepticism, has now largely been confirmed by observations.

Ostriker's research also focused on the gaseous interstellar medium, the birthplace of stars. The complex self-regulating interactions that we see around us between living organisms and the local environment are echoed in the interactions between stars and the interstellar medium. By analyzing the interstellar medium as a self-regulating system, Ostriker and his coworkers showed how the energy inputs from stellar ionizing radiation and powerful supernova explosions sculpt interstellar matter into the complex multiphase medium we see around us in the Galaxy, which in turn determines the rates of formation of new stars. Ostriker's work helped clarify the dynamics and evolution of supernova remnants, the role of cloud evaporation in the interstellar medium, and the processes by which supernova shock waves accelerate cosmic rays. His conclusions have been extended to the intergalactic medium, in particular to the study of intergalactic gas clouds and their role in the formation of galaxies.

Ostriker worked in the development of sophisticated numerical simulations of the evolution of the early universe and the formation of structure in cosmology, including galaxies, clusters of galaxies, and the intergalactic medium. The Ostriker and Steinhardt concordance model (a flat universe with a cosmological constant) has received strong recent support from observations of distant supernovae and fluctuations in the cosmic background radiation.

Ostriker’s primary research work is in computational cosmology. He is also active in the computational aspects of galaxy formation and black hole interactions with their environment. The basic algorithm used for the Millenium Simulation and many other cosmological investigations – the Tree Particle Mesh (“TPM”) algorithm – was developed at Princeton under his guidance. He has worked with Paul Bode on matching very large N-body simulations to astronomical observations as a way of determining the best fit cosmological model and helping to establish the Lambda Cold Dark Matter model as the standard. His work with Ren-Yue Cen pioneered the large scale study of where and when galaxies are formed and also helped to elucidate the “missing baryon” problem, i.e. the finding that most of the ordinary chemical elements are, at the current epoch, to be found in several million degree intergalactic gas. In his work with Thorsten Naab and other collaborators he has shown that relatively simple physics (eg “gravitational heating”) dominates the formation of massive galaxies, that the early transformation to the “red and dead” state is to be expected and that flat rather than peaky rotation curves are expected, but that quite high numerical resolution is required before these facts are apparent. Finally, in his work with Lucca Ciotti and other collaborators he has shown how massive black holes at the centers of galaxies can regulate their own growth and the bursts of star-formation in the centers of the parent systems.

He has and continues to serve on advisory committees for high performance computing at NSF headquarters, and the Pittsburgh and NCSA supercomputer centers, as well as establishing the Princeton Institute for Computational Science and Engineering and serving as its Director of in the period 2005-2009.

Awards and honors

Ostriker has won numerous awards and honors including:

Helen B. Warner Prize for Astronomy of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) (1972)

Henry Norris Russell Lectureship of the AAS (1980)

Foreign membership of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (1999)

National Medal of Science by U.S. President Bill Clinton (2000)

Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (2004)

Elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 2007

Bruce Medal (2011)

James Craig Watson Medal (2012)

White House Champion of Change (2013)

Gruber Prize in Cosmology (2015)


"Professor Jeremiah Ostriker ForMemRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2015-11-17.

Powell C.S. (1994) Profile: Jeremiah and Alicia Ostriker – A Marriage of Science and Art, Scientific American 271(3), 28-31.

"FACULTY HONOR: Ostriker named White House Champion of Change". Princeton University. June 19, 2013. Retrieved June 21, 2013.

"J.P. Ostriker". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 13 February 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2016.

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